Donna Bennett, Hope Street’s CEO, and Hootan Heydari, Wide Open Road Co-Founder, discuss the fundraising event over a coffee at Wide Open Road.

A much-loved Brunswick ethical roastery and café celebrated its 10-year anniversary in October by raising funds for young people who are experiencing homelessness.

Wide Open Road, situated at 274 Barkly Street, donated proceeds from all coffees sold between 18 and 20 October 2019 to Hope Street Youth and Family Services, a specialist youth homelessness service provider. Hope Street operates a youth refuge in Brunswick that provides supported crisis accommodation to young people and young families who are experiencing homelessness.

Hootan Heydari, Co-founder of Wide Open Road, said the team elected to mark their 10-year anniversary by giving back to the community. "Marking our 10-year anniversary by supporting our community’s most vulnerable people – young people who are homeless – feels fitting to us. Whilst we love coffee as a product, what actually keeps us going are the people and the communities that support and are supported by coffee," he said.

Hootan said Hope Street was an easy choice for a charity partner for the anniversary celebration. "Hope Street have been around in the Brunswick community even longer than we have, and they have supported so many young people who were experiencing homelessness. We know youth homelessness is on the rise in Melbourne and in our area, and we wanted to respond to that and help however we can," he said.

Co-founder, Jono Hill, explained that in addition to donating the proceeds of all coffees sold over the anniversary weekend, Wide Open Road also created a unique Hope Street blend of coffee for the occasion.

Donna Bennett, CEO of Hope Street, said Hope Street was grateful for the support of local businesses. "We’re delighted that Wide Open Road chose Hope Street as their partner for such an exciting occasion, as local community partnerships are crucial in the response to youth homelessness," said Donna.

Community members came down to Wide Open Road between Friday 18 and Sunday 20 October to celebrate the anniversary and support Hope Street Youth and Family Services.

Wide Open Road raised a total of $6631.32 for Hope Street’s work with young people who are experiencing homelessness.

For interview opportunities and any available photographs, please contact Donna Bennett, Chief Executive Officer, at .

To learn more about youth homelessness and young people's lived experiences of homelessness, please see I Am A Young Person.

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Hope to Home in Whittlesea

FEATURED PILOT PROGRAM: Hope to Home in Whittlesea

Many young people face obstacles when trying to secure stable accommodation due to no rental history, lack of affordable housing, and no employment to sustain rental leases.  The Hope to Home in Whittlesea pilot program will address these issues by:

  • Facilitating the transition of up to 30 young people (and their children) from the Hope Street in Whittlesea program or Whittlesea Housing into 1 and 2 bedroom units
  • Providing case management once they secure private rental of these units
  • Helping these young people maintain their tenancy, employment, education and training, and community connections
  • Engaging the support of community stakeholders including local businesses to address barriers contributing to youth homelessness

Please contact us if you would like to become a partner and support at risk young people and young families.

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